Starting and running a business is no simple task. There are many issues you must address and comply with if you're going to do it adequately. Not to mention that most aspects of business management come with a multitude of legal issues to be addressed, at least initially, and thereafter, on an occasional or exception basis.
Sifting through, sorting, and untangling these legal issues is a trying task for anyone. For someone who's trying to manage the commercial aspects of their business, it can be daunting to handle.
So, what can you do to simplify the process? Keep a small business lawyer on retainer, that's what. Here are 4 ways that doing so will benefit you.
1. Simplifies the Startup
Perhaps the most important stage of a business's development is its startup. There are a lot of factors to consider, mostly but not all tax driven, in selecting the type of entity that you will use to operate your new business. And, if real estate is involved, you may use more than one entity in your business structure.
For instance, the type of business you choose to operate in will affect your personal legal liability, where creditors of your business could take away your house. And, your choice of the type of entity you use to operate your enterprise will also determine its and your tax obligations. Will your business be a sole enterprise, a C or S Corporation, a partnership, or a LLC? Is your business's name appropriate, and legally available for use?
Having a specialized family and small business lawyer on your side can help you to make the right choices to avoid or minimize any surprises in the future. Getting the right legal advice up front will help ensure that your business starts off on the right foot so that it can achieve its maximum capabilities.
2. Allows for Seamless Transactions
If your company makes, or will be making large transactions, either routinely or on occasion, you're going to want to have a lawyer on retainer who is familiar with you and your business. That way, whoever will be giving you the legal advice on the transaction won't have to spend time and effort to "get up to speed" on the factors that may impact the transaction from your perspective.
A lawyer can help you to draw up contracts, to identify normal or perhaps non-standard business practices that will alert you to potential pitfalls, and to make sure that you yourself are not doing anything illegal. In short, using a lawyer you deal with regularly can bring a balanced perspective and more certainty to your transactions, and more assurance that the results are what you want to obtain in taking the business risk of the transaction.
When making business transactions, you often have to deal with complex legal documents. A small business lawyer can read through these documents to ensure that they are, indeed, not exposing you to unanticipated or unknown legal risks.
3. Efficient and Optimum way to obtain Legal Counsel
You hope that it never happens, but because you are in business, and probably perceived as a "deep pocket" by someone you are dealing with, you have a higher risk of being in a lawsuit.
If and when a lawsuit arises, you want to make sure that you're being represented by an attorney who knows your company well. When you keep a lawyer on retainer, that lawyer has an opportunity to understand your business as it develops and truly understand how it operates.
A lawyer on retainer is almost like another one of your outside vendors, just with much more legal knowledge about you and your business. Combining his or her knowledge of law with his or her knowledge of your business, a lawyer can represent your business. His or her job is to advise you on what you would do in a particular circumstance, as if you had also along the way gone to law school.
4. Frees Up Time and Resources
As a small business owner, you've got a multitude of things to manage. With all of these action items on your plate, it is unlikely that you are able to devote adequate time to sift through the legal issues which are present in the many transactions your business conducts.
Your customers hire you in your business because, while they may be able to do it themselves, you can do it faster, more efficiently and cheaper because that is what you do. Similarly, when you need to decide a legal issue, you are better served by consulting a lawyer to give you the appropriate advice without your having to sift through various sources of perhaps inadequate advice from friends, relatives, acquaintances or the internet.
While your lawyer looks over your contracts, corporate documents and other documents you use in your business, you'll have time to deal with customers, handle payroll and inventory, make your business plans, and tend to other tasks germane to your business.
Looking to Keep a Small Business Lawyer on Retainer?
If you're looking to keep a small business lawyer on retainer in Park Ridge, Illinois, we here at John J. Pembroke & Associates are exactly who you're looking for. Ask us about our Small Business general counsel program.
Our team of lawyers is experienced in Starting and running a business. We have experience in the legal issues present in most situations present in your business, or can access the resources needed to bear on those situations.
Contact us to schedule a consultation today!